White trout fishing around the Pensacola Bay Bridge has been decent lately and should remain that way through at least January and February. A variety of baits will work, both natural and artificial, I prefer Berkley Gulp Shrimp or fresh squid, shrimp, or mullet.
Sheepshead reports have varied from one person to another, but it’s getting to be the right time. The best reports have come from the upper bays around the bridges like the I-10 Bridge and train trussel. Live shrimp or fiddler crabs are going to be your best bet.
Speckled trout fishing should get better with the cold weather finally showing up. You can look for them either in the canals, bayous, and river mouths. If you’re just looking for some action the canals in Gulf Breeze are a good option in my opinion.
Mingo snapper are the primary target for most charter boats venturing offshore right now. They can be found anywhere from state waters out to the edge. As usual, just use a two drop rigs with a combination of cut squid and northern mackerel.
On the edge and further offshore anglers have been catching some scamp. Live bait can be tough to find this time of year, but it’s worth investing a little time to find something to take offshore with you. Look for croakers and finger mullet in the bayous of small baits around the buoys outside the pass.
Piers & Beaches
Now is an excellent time to give surf fishing off the beach a try. Pompano will be an occassional catch until we get into late February and March, but whiting should be plentful along with an occasional redfish or black drum.
Fort Pickens and Bob Sikes Bridge are very hit or miss this time of year. Sheepshead and mangove snapper are probably your two most likely species to catch. You’ll want to fish with live shrimp on a carolina rig and a small hook.